Q. Phia was born in sunny Richmond, Va. and currently has her studio docked near the frozen industrial tundra of Chicago, Illinois. She is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she STUDIed art history, fashion design, & photography, after falling in love with historical costume while studying abroad in Lugano, Switzerland.
She has always been a maker of things and isn’t sure she could stop if she wished to. What began for her as a childhood penchant for deconstructing vintage clothing has become a fully-fledged obsession with millinery, traditional weaving, hand embroidery, and historical costume. She arrives at her current aesthetic after many years of creating clothing for a variety of different productions, organizations, and private clients.
She particularly enjoys working in the Steampunk/Dieselpunk idiom because it grants her the latitude to combine her historical and handcrafting obsessions to create pieces that aren’t subject to the same restrictions of shape, fabric, and style that contemporary clothing sometimes can be. Beyond the cut and look of her garments, it is vital that each piece be completed with proper finishing techniques.
Her work has been featured in art shows around the Chicago area, fashion exhibitions from coast to coast, and the publications: 1000 Steampunk Creations (Quarry Books, 2011); Steampunk AMOUR Magazine; and Surreal Beauty Magazine, Ashes & Roses.
Currently, she is plotting several new concepts for applying her unique aesthetic sensibility to new territory such as stained glass windows, and a sailboat garment, fully rigged for hoisting. As these projects mature, they will be featured with the rest of her work here.
She draws inspiration from her collection of vintage Victorian clothing, ethnic costumes, and historical books, extensive travel, and scuba diving, as well as from her dear friend and collaborator, Ugo Serrano.